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ST. LOUIS — A statewide animal welfare organization is hosting a fundraiser for all those who like wine, animals and a good time.

“This is for people who want to protect animals while having a good time,” Bob Baker, executive director of the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation, said. The Open Your Heart gala is scheduled for Feb. 25 at 5:30 p.m. at Lucas Park Grille.

The Alliance is a nonprofit organization that advocates for animal welfare — animal welfare advocacy is for the humane treatment of animal, whereas animal rights advocacy is for animals to be free of human use — that was founded in 1990 in response the number of puppy mills in Missouri.

The organization has had several successes in getting legislation passed involving puppy mills, cockfighting, pet overpopulation, impounded animals, exotic animals, and animal abuse and neglect. In 2011, they successfully advocated for the Canine Cruelty Prevention Act.

“The Human Society treats the symptoms, and they are doing God’s work,” Baker said. “We go after the heart of the issue, we address the core of the problem.”

The gala is the organization’s major source of funding. The theme for the 15th annual event is “Wine & Whiskers.” The evening is open to all and will include great food, wine, cocktails, a variety of fun activities and silent and live auctions.

Check out more on the event and the Alliance at maal.org

Alisha Shurr is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine. She joined the Missouri Times in January 2018 after working as a copy editor for her hometown newspaper in Southern Oregon. Alisha is a graduate of Kansas State University. Contact Alisha at alisha@themissouritimes.com.